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I bought a white 2019 Transit Connect XL for 24K on 5/3/19. I got the tow package, cruise control, and SYNC3.

 

My long term goal is a modular set up that allows it to be both a camper van and a moto van without a lot of hassle.

 

Moto Van Requirements:

  • Able to secure my 2008 WR450F without it bouncing around on a dirt road (a second dirt bike would be nice)
  • Able to fit riding gear
  • Able to fit camping gear

 

Campervan Requirements:

  • All equipment removable for motorcycle hauling purposes
  • Lightweight for the mpgs and modularity
  • Pretty wood and cool design for the future lady
  • Secure for when leaving valuables at a risky trailhead
  • Able to sleep 2

 

Immediate goals:

  • Floor mats
  • Sun shade
  • Equipment for securing motorcycle

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Welcome, looks like you got all of the necessary options.  I use mine to haul a scooter, not sure how two dirt bike would fit.  The front wheel of my scooter goes between the two middle seats with the rear seats removed.  It will fit with the rear seats in but is easier with the extra headroom.  I use a WeatherTech floor mat (the big one) for the rear with a sheet of MDF on top on it.  The MDF lets me use the center stand on the scooter.  One of these days Im going to make a front wheel stand for it.  I also have an old Holzclaw dirt bike trailer which I restored.  It had two rails but I made a deck for it to haul my sport bike which I then traded fro a sport touring bike which is a little longer so m=need to modify the trailer!  Ah the ever evolving projects!  Nice thing about the Holzclaw trailer is it is coil springs with shocks.  Weight capacity inst great but its nice for a couple of bikes.  All Ive hauled is some lumber.

 

One of my intentions was to take the van camping and use a 6" foam mattress in the back.  Amazon has ones that are three sections which is easier for moving out of the way when hauling a scooter.  So far the only camping I've done has been on my motorcycle.  

 

Another of the purposes was to haul our twin 5 YO grandkids and my wife's elderly parents.  It has done very well for both of those.  My wife's father passed away at the end of last year from cancer, the last three months was pretty tough but the TC was the vehicle of choice for getting him to the doctor visits.  It was easier to get him in and out, only problem was he insisted on being in the front seat.  My mother-in-law has severe arthritis and the seats in the TC are very easy for her to get in and out of.  Her walker fits nicely in the back.  Someone ran into her car a couple of weeks ago, Monday we found out it was totaled.  Yesterday my wife and I spent the day taking her car shopping!  She is 90 and shopping for a new car!  Part of the time we also had the twin grandkids.  They were easy, one had the Nintendo Switch and the other had the Nintendo DSi.   Games and iPad time are carefully regulated by their parents so they were perfect for keeping them occupied.  They did show my wife the way around the Honda dealership as they have a Honda minivan and had been there before for oil changes.

 

Something I noted about my mother-in-laws wreck was her car was a dark grey color, almost the color of pavement.  She was driving down a road doing the speed limit when someone came out from a side street (and stop sign) and ran into her right front wheel.  It was 4:00 or 4:30 in the afternoon on a nice day.   Visibility at the stop sign isn't great and with a quick glance someone might not pick up a darker color vehicle.  I suggested a lighter color would be good.  My granddaughter picked out a purple Dodge Challenger for her (rejected).  

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Here is the current strap setup. I plan on making all custom straps with the high quality cam buckles and swivel locking caribiners.

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I see you already have a hitch. 

Get a trailer for the bikes and keep the dirt outside.There is only so much room inside a TC.

Weather Tech floormats for the front footwells are great at keeping dirt and mud controlled.

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22 hours ago, flyingsquirrelmotorcycle said:

Did you remove your center console to fit your front wheel between the seats? Are you using a wheel chock?

 

Cheers Glen

The center console is still there. I don't feel the wheel chock is necessary. Tie down's to the pegs and the rear wheel seem to be good enough. I'm not even using the ones on the forks anymore.

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How did you fit your WR in there? I just brought one of these home and it looks near impossible to fit my 450X in there. Is there a special way to load it?

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21 hours ago, Doug. said:

How did you fit your WR in there? I just brought one of these home and it looks near impossible to fit my 450X in there. Is there a special way to load it?

PM'd you.

 

But for the benefit of others:

  • Make sure all the stuff on your handlebars are rotated to give it the lowest profile.
  • Mine will fit without compressing the fork, but I compress the fork anyway just to make it a little easier.
  •  To compress the fork I loop a ratchet strap between my aftermarket front disc guard and the fork.

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After exercising a little more patience I figured out how to make it fit. Does anyone know if that crossmember in the middle of the roof can be cut out or is it structurally necessary? If it wasn’t there would make the process a ton easier.

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On 9/1/2019 at 12:28 PM, Doug. said:
Quote

 

After exercising a little more patience I figured out how to make it fit. Does anyone know if that crossmember in the middle of the roof can be cut out or is it structurally necessary? If it wasn’t there would make the process a ton easier.

 

 

 

 

Remove it, and replace it with a welded in flat bar for more clearance. 

 

Edited by dirt huffer

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On 9/1/2019 at 12:28 PM, Doug. said:

After exercising a little more patience I figured out how to make it fit. Does anyone know if that crossmember in the middle of the roof can be cut out or is it structurally necessary? If it wasn’t there would make the process a ton easier.

 

I bet its structural. Why chop up your van when you can use a $5 ratchet strap to compress the fork for the little bit of extra room that you need? Those dirt bikes have tons of travel that you can use to your advantage. 

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Does anyone have measurements? I really want to get a Connect, and I see two people on here with dirt bikes got them in a Connect but my mind is still blown on how you did it. I went to the Ford dealer yesterday and measured the cargo door opening, I measured just over 45" in height. My bars at a resting height are 49" Are you guys just compressing the crap out of your forks to get them in? Anyone have a video? Thanks!

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OK So i finally started the build after owning it for more than a year. 🙄

 

I don't know all the detail of the build, but I know some of the stuff. Instead of trying to plan every last detail in advance I decided to just get started.

 

1. I bought a couple 4x8 sheets of cardboard from a local shipping supplies store. $18

2. I already had various cutting tools for the cardboard.

3. I cut out the templates fairly quickly. It helped to have extra. I was able to make 4 4x4 panels which translated into 4 tries to get it good.

4. I bought a Black and Decker jigsaw off Amazon for $50

5. I bought a 4x8x0.75 sheet of unfinished birch at the home improvement store for $50. I had them cut it into 2 4x4 squares.

6. I took it home and traced the cardboard templates onto the back side of the birch

7. I i got to cutting. It was way easier than expected.

8. There was one existing threaded hole near the top of the panel. I marked it as best I could on the board and drilled it. It took 2 tries.

9. I screwed in each panel with only one bolt. Eventually i'll need plus nuts or riv-nuts to put in more bolts.

10. I already had basically all the plastic removed. I wanted the boards to be resting on the floor of the van in order to support the most weight possible.

11. I threw back in the foam floor mat. The edges are going up the sides of the boards. Once I feel like everything is good I will cut the floor mat to fit. I do not intend to put in a wood floor.

12. I went to the hardware store and purchased a T40 torx bit to remove the panel behind the driver seat.

13. I cut out a section of foam and took some measurements as that is where I intend to put my battery.

14. I searched the interior for Ford's Customer Connection Points like they put in the full size transits, but the TC doesn't appear to have them. I wanted to charge my battery with the CCP.

15. I searched the inside of the engine compartment for a place to put a solenoid. There is very little room and this part of the job is very intimidating to me. Still not sure where it will go.

16. I searched the van for a path to bring the cable from the solenoid to the aux battery. This is also not obvious.

 

Anyway, that's where I am. Very interested in hearing how others are charging their aux battery with the alternator. 

 

Next steps include:

1. Making cross beams between the 2 boards to put my elevated bed.

2. Making some kind of contraption in the front to support the bed. I'm thinking 80/20 as much as I can.

3. Getting all the electrical bits installed: fan, switches, lights, charging ports, etc

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Something that helped me in cutting panels was to rough cut the cardboard to the general shape I needed, then tape narrow strips to the edges as needed to fill any gaps. Ended up with a right tight fit in all the right places.

 

Obviously still a work in progress, but no complaints so far ...

 

19nov-kitchen.jpg

 

PS ... the metal bits of the kitchen area are recycled from the commercial shelving that was in the van when I got it. Waste not, want not, and less crap to throw out or trip over, right?

 

Edited by sKiZo

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I finally got around to working on the electrical system.

 

I went with a Keyline Battery Isolator and a 100 AH Renogy battery.

 

A friend in the SoCal area helped with the install. He did a great job and is willing to work on other vans in the area.

 

The first step was locating this bus bar under the computer, and then under the "fuze box". There was an open spot with a 80 W fuse where I connected my 15'  4 gage battery cable.

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Next we routed the wire through the engine compartment and underneath the van to that secret spot in the middle of the van and sealed it off with some RTV.

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We were able to route the cable into the cab through an existing hole. We just had to push out a rubber grommet. Here you can also see where we grounded the battery to an existed threaded hole in the van.

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Here is what the battery and isolator look like. I secured the battery by myself and it shows. Good thing is no one will see this.

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We placed the fuse box so that it could be accessed from the stock fuse panel in the stock plastics. I took out those boards because they took up too much space. 

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I wired up 2 blue sea 12v outlets and 2 2.1 amp USB outlets and one light switch.

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Here is the passenger side panel. The outlet labeled 12V is connected to the vehicle battery and the front 2 are connected to the house battery.

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Here is the driver side panel with the rocker switch for the light.

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I ordered a ford light to keep the stock look. This one is mounted opposite to the exact same light that comes on when the door is opened.

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I ordered some curtains off amazon and the fit fairly well. I tied a fisherman's knot to a d ring on both sides to make it tight.

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It's easy to stuff the side of the curtain into a hole in the body to make it more private.

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I'm happy with how it turned out.

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Here is the stock ford light I mentioned. You can tell its on the driver side.

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I like the curtains.  Keep up the good work.

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Looking at your battery install, stripping some paint on that chassis ground location could be a good thing. You do get at least some connection/flow through the bolt, too, but it's always been recommended to get bare metal under the connector itself. Of course, now it's going to be more difficult for you to get to since the van looks to be at least partially reassembled, lol. Those four extra outlets - are those all USB or 2x USB ones and 2x standard 12V "cig plug" power ports? Looks like some good work overall, even the unusual but resourceful "battery holders". I'd still prefer to see actual hold-down clamps; in a bad enough accident, that battery can still move around and - more importantly - up, potentially shorting on the false floor above it. Smart reuse of the swivel D-rings, too! 

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